Dependent vs Independent

Published March 1, 2013 by thefamilyof5

I often find myself trying to find ways to simply explain the differences between parenting an adopted child and parenting a birth child.

I had a ‘light bulb’ moment in the shower the other day (the tranquillity of the shower is really the only place I get to organise my thoughts these days, its the only place I’m ever alone).

My girls learnt independence too soon, they learnt the world was a scary and unpredictable place and the only person they could trust was themselves.

My girls can dress themselves, feed themselves, and keep themselves safe. They can survive, they have survived.

So I ‘just’ (because of course its so easy!! ) have to teach my girls to trust me, believe me, change their view of the world, allow me to take care of them, allow me to keep them safe and depend on me! easy peasy eh!

Quite simply:

β€œAdoption is teaching your child to be dependent whilst other parents are teaching their children independence.”

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26 comments on “Dependent vs Independent

  • It’s interesting, because the one son I adopted (out of my 3) was well cared for and loved (in a foster family) from day 3 of his life until he came to us, and we are still teaching trust. I can barely begin to imagine what it’s like for you and your girls.

    I think it is very difficult for non-adoptive parents to understand. I know I didn’t. For example, if I talk about tantrums…someone will say, “Well, he’s at that age,” but you know, it’s not the same thing. It’s not the same thing at all.

  • fab post – getting the balance between independence, dependence and trust is something we’re working on a lot at the moment with one of our teens πŸ˜‰

  • I see I am not the only one this post resonates with! I switch between wanting people to see my kids as the oh-so-normal kids that they pretty much are to wanting people to recognize that they don’t see the world the same way most people see it, and they definitely don’t view family the same way, and to be mindful of that. I was also just thinking – I’m pretty sure that not one word was mentioned in all my teacher education classes about adoption, foster care, kids with deceased parents, or any other trauma issues. Why not??????? Especially in today’s world, it should be mandatory!

    • It should be mandatory, after all how can a teacher teach a child if they don’t understand why a child is so scared they can’t hear what’s being taught.
      There’s so much talk about children being safe in school but our children need a bit more than cctv and locked doors to feel ‘safe’ in the world never mind school.

  • I had no idea. As a non-adoptive parent, I am totally in the dark about adopted children and their feelings. I never even thought about the trust factor. It has to be huge. Thanks for enlightening those of us who have not experienced this.
    My children are all grown now. I cannot imagine adding more issues to the child-rearing process than what we experienced.
    God Bless you.

    • Thank you for you kind words. Your right, trust is a major factor in adoptive parenting, trust of us, trust of other people and even just general trust in the word around them. We hope to show them over time that the world can be a lovely place πŸ™‚

  • I was just telling my husband about this post last night…as we were at a party yesterday and spent 2hrs encouraging our nearly 3yr old birth daughter to dance with the other children and take part in the games, but also spent 2hrs keeping our 6yr old adopted son close, dosed up with rescue remedy, reminding him that we were there.
    Your last quoted sentence says it all for me, and perfectly describes my daily life.
    Thanks for linking up to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out x

  • This is such a good point. Our daughter didn’t experience being forced to grow up practically but has is having to learn that we won’t be passing her on to anyone else. That we’re here to stay. That’s a toughie and most birth parents don’t understand how much that impacts on her.

    • Its so hard isn’t it, almost 3 yrs in and big girl will automatically fear the worst if she doesn’t instantly spot me on the play ground at home time. So you can imagine the importance of me arriving early and securing my regular standing spot πŸ™‚

    • I remember not long after placement when baby girl started nursery aged 3, she was the only child not crying and clinging to a parent on the first day. All the other mum’s said how great that was and how proud I must be. Inside I was crying because it just showed how little she felt she ‘needed’ me. She’s just starting to come to me for comfort now, almost 3yrs later x

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